Wrapping up the week with a collection of good news nuggets.
Land Restoration Map
Thomas Crowther, an ecologist in Zurich, Switzerland, has launched Restor, a mapping tool that shows where people in the world are restoring ecosystems and allowing threatened wildlife to thrive. Crowther says we should be angry about climate change and the destruction of ecosystems. “But without optimism, that outrage goes nowhere,” he said. Examples of people restoring land give us all something to root for, and now there’s a spot to find a whole bunch of them – tens of thousands, actually - with Restor documenting the healing of our natural world (currently at Beta testing stage). “We’ve never known where all the conservation and restoration is happening on our planet. It’s the first time we can begin to visualize a global restoration movement,” Crowther said.
After California experienced one of the driest years in recent memory, heavy rains in late 2021 were welcomed by farmers, urban planners, and a much-awaited guest - the endangered coho salmon. “We’ve seen fish in places that they haven’t been for almost 25 years,” said conservationist Preston Brown. The profuse precipitation was well-timed with the November-to-January spawning season in the resource-rich Tomales Bay watershed north of San Francisco. The salmon are now laying eggs in nests where babies will soon hatch and spend most of their young lives. Once they reach maturity, the fish will swim to the ocean and eventually return back to the same area to spawn.
Power tools, air beds and a disco ball are among the items to have been listed on a new UK sharing platform, which lets people loan stuff out within their community. BORROW was launched to reduce resource consumption and scale up the sharing economy. It sits as a separate feature on the OLIO app, which enables people to share surplus food with neighbours. “Most of us have lots of useful items dotted around the house that we barely use – the new OLIO BORROW feature means that you can now make these items available for your neighbours to borrow for short periods of time,” said OLIO CEO Tessa Clarke.
Act of Kindness
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science, in Colorado, recently received an anonymous donation of $25 million - the largest one in the museum’s 121-year history to date. 10 percent of the donation will help the museum with staffing, equipment, and launch activities. The remaining 90 percent will go to the museum’s supporting organization (DMNS Foundation) to help the museum’s conservation work through annual distributions.
It's Good to Laugh
Barry Cryer, legendary stalwart of the British comedy scene, has died at the age of 86. To honour his passing, here's one of Cryer's parrot jokes: A man owns a parrot that can't stop swearing. So he says to him, 'If you don't stop swearing, I'll put you in the fridge.' The parrot keeps on swearing. So he puts it in the fridge. Five minutes later, he takes the parrot out of the fridge, and says to it, 'Are you going to stop swearing?' 'Yes,' says the parrot. 'But what did that chicken do?'
(If that made you chuckle, don't miss the OGN Sunday Magazine for more Barry Cryer jokes.)
An elephant gave birth last week to twin calves at a national reserve in northern Kenya. The rare phenomenon came as a pleasant surprise for the tour guides who spotted the twins while out on safari at the Samburu reserve. The pair are only the second set of twin calves ever to have been encountered in the region, reports the BBC. According to the local conservation charity Save the Elephants, twins account for only 1 percent of elephant births.
Dream Comes True
Habitat for Humanity (Virginia) teamed up with a 3-D printing company, Alquist, to create their first 3D-printed home to be owner-occupied in the United States. The goal of the two companies is to sell affordable housing to low-income families. The construction crew managed to print the 1,200 square-foot home in just 28 hours. The homeowner of the first 3D-printed house in Virginia is a single mom named April, who lives with her 13-year-old son. To be able to buy the house, April had to put in 300 hours of volunteer work on the construction site - one of the requirements of the Habitat Homebuyer Program. April will pay the no-interest mortgage back to the local Habitat affiliate. “My son and I are so thankful,” April commented, wiping away tears. “I always wanted to be a homeowner. It’s a dream come true.”
Quote of the Day
"One today is worth two tomorrows." Benjamin Franklin
On this Day
28 January 1887: Work begins on the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Dive in Deeper
Jigsaw Puzzles: In our ever increasing digital society, this activity is the perfect opportunity to unplug and improve your mental and physical wellbeing. If you’re looking for some motivation to start a puzzle, here are six good reasons. Read on...
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